Ensuring your home’s air stays fresh and clean can be a big task any time of year, but it can be especially challenging during the winter. Cold air holds onto less moisture, and indoor heating can make that air drier. It may be tempting to seal your home to avoid the cold, but closing off windows and other fresh air access points can reduce circulation, creating a stale and heavy germ environment. Nobody wants that! So, to help improve air quality in your home, we have a few easy tips that will freshen up it up, save you money, and may even prevent you from getting sick this season.
Air Out Your Home
Our first solution is easy and free -- open up your windows whenever temperatures are warm enough. The simplest way to improve your environment is to increase air circulation and bring in fresh air. Unfortunately, we know this is not always a weather permitting solution in the winter. If the weather in your area is too cold to keep your windows open, even for a short amount of time, you can invest in an air purifier engineered to destroy even the smallest pathogens. You could also run ventilation in your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to cycle out contaminants. Buying a humidifier is another inexpensive solution to alleviate dryness in the air and help you and your family breathe more comfortably. Learn more in our blog about the benefits of whole-home humidification systems.
With stale air, mold, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites can multiply. These allergens exacerbate already prominent seasonal illnesses. Regular dusting throughout your home and especially near window and door trim, as well as frequent vacuuming, will help tremendously to reduce these dust and pollutants for cleaner, fresher air. When vacuuming, use a HEPA filter to guarantee dust won’t be poured back into the air. You’ll want to keep surfaces clean and wash linens thoroughly, including bedding and blankets. Just remember to use non-toxic cleaning products and always dust before you vacuum.
To increase energy efficiency and improve air quality, you should be changing your home’s air filters every one to three months, with monthly being your best option. If you aren’t already doing that, it’s never too late to start! Along with changing filters, your heating appliances like furnaces and space heaters should be checked and serviced according to their manufacturer's specifications, especially if you notice any unusual noises. Also, having your ducts cleaned can remove 99.97% of contaminants that contribute to illnesses like inflamed allergies and asthma attacks.
Go Beyond Filtering Your Air
Your heating and cooling (HVAC) system likely circulates 1.5 million cubic feet of air per day, but even the highest quality filters can’t get everything -- small particles may be escaping. Rejuvenate your air with a clean HVAC system. Improving efficiency means lower utility bills and cleaner air. Utilize your HVAC system as a cleaning machine with particle removal, germ killing, and chemical removal products.
Add Greenery To Your Space
Living green plants can provide a natural air cleaning and purifying source of oxygen for your home. Nasa suggests best practice for air cleaning is to have at least one plant per 100 square feet of your home. Think plants like Aloe Vera, English Ivy, Yucca or Bamboo. Just don’t over-water them. The EPA suggests that over-watering house plants can lead to microorganism growth in potting soil which can affect those prone to allergies. With live plants, not only will you be removing harmful airborne toxins, but you’ll also be adding a simple and attractive element to your home decor. Check out this other blog post about purifying plants for your home to learn more about the benefits of different plants.
Have Your Air Quality Audited
While you can’t stop winter from coming, you can make the season a little more comfortable indoors. Contact one of our Hiller HVAC service technicians for more cost-saving solutions to improve air quality in your home.